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Cape Town Green Map is Runner-Up in the Innovations for Climate Change Adaptation Award

Cape Town Green Map

Cape Town Green Map and the Ackerman Pick n Pay Foundation were both runners up in this category of the Greening the Future Awards.

Cape Town Green Map is thrilled to have received this recognition and says 'bravo' to Ackerman Pick n Pay Foundation and their community gardening project.

Lisa Johnston reported on the two Innovations for Climate Change Adaptation Award runners up in the Greening the Future supplement in the Mail & Guardian:
Mainstream in Cape Town

When the Cape Town Green Map was launched in 2009 it was with the conscious intention of positioning all things green firmly in the mainstream.

“It’s probably the most important decision we made,” says Philip Todres CEO of A&C Maps, the company that partnered with the City of Cape on the project. “Living in Cape town is about an informed lifestyle choice. We wanted to get the information out there, but not as some kind of weirdo alternative lifestyle. Being green is about being an informed citizen.”

The interactive map, which was developed as part of the City of Cape Town’s Green Goal programme ahead of the 2010 World Cup, draws on a vast database of service providers, markets, retailers, eco products, alternative energy sites, tourism, accommodation and the like and positions green as a practical, desirable and easily attainable.

It also forms part of the international Open Green Map movement, which features maps from about 850 communities in 65 countries. Of these Cape Town is the most visited site.

“That’s something that we are very, very, very proud,” says Todres. “And it’s for the simple reason that, yes you need a map but you also need to be able to communicate stories.” To this end the website includes regularly updated green news and blog posts which could relate to anything from food gardening to an art exhibition or waste disposal. “If there’s anything going on that is going to promote a green way of life, we are interested,” says Todres.

The ultimate goal is to use the branding to create a green map of the entire country. Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal have already adopted the template and South Africa looks set to building an international green presence.

The Cape Town Green Map and environmental articles can be found on www.capetowngreenmap.co.za. For more information on the Open Green Map movement visit www.opengreenmap.org.

Joint runner up: Ackerman Pick n Pay Foundation community gardening project
Clever about food security

By offering the skills to harness nature’s assets Pick n Pay (through its Ackerman Pick n Pay Foundation) is putting food on people’s tables and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit in communities. So much so that one of the unintended consequences of their nationwide organic community gardening project has been to grow their network of supermarket suppliers.

So far 15 Pick n Pay and Boxer stores are being supplied with organic spinach, cabbage, beetroot, green peppers, chillies, carrots and butternut fresh from some of their 113 community gardens. In response the company has upped the ante to include business skills, financial literacy, enterprise development and marketing in its training.

“We have a number of gardens that supply our providers on a regular basis. Our technologists, buyers etc help the small-scale farmers [to assure that they meet the standards of] quality. It’s not just about helping the small farmer, but helping to ensure sustainable farming practices into the future,” says Pick n Pay’s transformation director Suzanne Ackerman-Berman. By educating people in sustainable farming practices the company has the added advantage of increasing its procurement of locally grown produce.

The programme establishes itself in a mix of rural and urban areas by offering to teach interested parties basic food gardening skills. Participants are given a starter pack comprising organics seedlings, compost and basic gardening implements. Excess crops are sold off to neighbours or community markets and the profits are ploughed back into the gardens.

“As a food-based company we recognise that the greatest need in society is food security. Hunger is a major issue facing society,” says Ackerman-Berman. “But another very important element is the empowerment of individuals as entrepreneurs.”

Pick n Pay aims to extend its reach by establishing a further 137 gardens by the end of 2015.